PEN America Speaks: How We Defended and Celebrated Free Expression The Week of January 29
PEN America works tirelessly to defend free expression, support persecuted writers, and promote literary culture. Here are some of the latest ways PEN America is speaking out.
- PEN America hosted an author’s event in Los Angeles on Wednesday for the launch of writer and comedian Moshe Kasher’s new memoir, Subculture Vulture. The event was interrupted by protests that eventually prevented the programming from proceeding. While most protesters left after expressing themselves, one declined and was removed by security. We regret that this step had to be taken for the event to proceed.
- PEN America’s Artists at Risk Connection hosted the panel “Empowerment of Ukrainian Artistry,” moderated by ARC’s Representative for Ukraine Protective Programs, Oleksandra Yakubenko at the Ukraine Vision conference in Stockholm.
- PEN America Florida Director Katie Blankenship and free expression expert Sam LaFrance, wrote about their concern with a string of bills that would unfavorably impact free speech and free expression, freedom of the press, young people’s use of social media, and LGBTQ+ rights.
- PEN America Editorial Director Lisa Tolin compiled a list of 30 films you can watch, based on books that were challenged by censorship in the U.S.
- Kasey Meehan, the Freedom to Read program director at PEN America, appeared on the Eagle Reels vodcast to discuss the latest movement to ban books and Berkshire County’s case involving the most banned book in America.
- Meehan also spoke to Los Angeles Times columnist Robin Abcarian about book bans.
- PEN America’s Artists at Risk Connection proudly announced its collaboration with the Ukrainian Pavilion at the 60th International Art Exhibition of La Biennale di Venezia. The exhibition opens to the public on April 20 and runs until November 24.
- PEN America’s Artists at Risk Connection published a profile on Burmese multimedia artist and painter Thiha and the risks he took to continue creating art.
- PEN America condemned the Russian government for placing London-based Grigory Chkhartishvili, better known under his pen name Boris Akunin, on its wanted list for alleged criminal activity. Akunin, a best-selling author of historical detective fiction and one of Russia’s most popular novelists, has been an outspoken critic of President Vladimir Putin and Russia’s atrocities committed in Ukraine.